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Who's your favorite villain?


When I was a kid, my favorite bad guy was Dr. Zachary Smith from the TV show, Lost in Space.

   
I know, I know, he wasn’t exactly evil (though he did try to sabotage the original mission), but I always loved how he used Will Robinson as a human shield in times of danger and the way he argued with the Robinson family’s robot (except when he was hiding behind it).
 
I also like The Master, from Doctor Who (back in the days of the third (and my second) doctor, Jon Pertwee.


                                                
 
These days I enjoy the spiteful, sadistic Professor Snape, played by Alan Rickman – who was also excellent as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
 

Overall though, I’d have to say my favorite villains are The Dursleys from the Harry Potter books (though Rickman’s portrayal of Snape comes in a close second).  

                                               
 
There’s something delightfully mean about the way Harry’s step-parents forced him to sleep in the cupboard beneath the stairs for the first eleven years of his life. Especially when we later discover there was a perfectly good bedroom he could have used, but they’d given it to their spoiled brat of a son as a spare bedroom (in which to keep all his unused toys etc).
 
So far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Potter movies (with the possible exception of the last one), but I think the producers made a huge mistake when they decided not to make use of so many of the great Dursley scenes from the books. 
 
How about you?
 
Who’s your favorite villain? 


ETA: 1:20pm  Ooh!  I forgot Spike 

                            

What was I thinking?



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( 116 comments — Leave a comment )
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asakiyume
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
Dr. Smith was such a viper in their midst! I loved that show when I was little. Hmm, favorite villain... I'll have to think on it :-)
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
To this day, I still say 'Oh, the pain, the pain' :)
handful_ofdust
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
Too many to count, since I'm a villain at heart, but the three who've captured my interest over the last few years: Bill "The Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day Lewis) from Gangs of New York, Charlie Prince (Ben Foster) from the recent remake of 3:10 to Yuma, and Yagami Raito from Death Note.
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
I had to smile when I saw Bill 'The Butcher'. It reminded me of a scene in Hitch, where Will Smith's character unwittingly brings up the bad apple in his girlfriend's family tree.
cathschaffstump
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
I too like Roger Delgado's The Master.

My favorite villain is Marvel Comics Dr. Doom. He's...complicated.

Catherine
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
I always liked J. Jonah. Jameson :)
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Feb. 2nd, 2010 10:11 am (UTC) - Expand
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lunalila
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
I have to agree with you on Snape's portrayal by the always great Alan Rickman. He won my heart, well he really had it before LOL.
But if I have to track back my love for villains it started with an 80's film, Labrynth. Evil Jareth the king of the goblins was portrayed by David Bowie.
And he is my inspiration for next villain in my YA, LOL. So yeah... he kind of gained my heart too.
bogwitch64
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
Ah, but was he a villain?? I loved him as Jareth. That movie is pretty stellar. I want to watch it now! Curses!
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jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
No political sniping (or Snaping) allowed here :P
mtlawson
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
Given that I pulled out that Shakespeare bloke a few times in previous postings of yours, I guess it'd be a natural that I'd say Iago from Othello. Talk about your diabolical evil characters. I remember hearing in my high school Shakespeare class about how in the old days that the actor playing Iago had to keep one eye on the crowd while reciting his lines, because the crowd would get so riled up that they might just grab him off the stage.

You want something more recent? Hmm...

There was John Fain (played by Richard Boone) in the John Wayne film Big Jake. Another John Wayne movie, Rio Lobo, had Sheriff Hendricks (played by Mike Henry). There's also Sir Guy of Gisbourne (played by Basil Rathbone) in The Adventures of Robin Hood.

However, I'd have to give the award to Alan Rickman's portrayal of Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
bogwitch64
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Ah! How about Don John from Much Ado About Nothing? Tibault from Romeo and Juliet? Malvolio from 12th Night? And (IMO, of course) Petruchio from Taming of the Shrew?

Iago is the most evil, I give you that--though MacBeth is up there among the baddest of the bad.
(no subject) - mtlawson - Feb. 1st, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
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clarionj
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
Very often I don't like any villain, even if I can say, wow, that's a great villain, I rather wish they weren't in the story at all (which means, of course, there'd be no story). I'm thinking of big villains like Sauron or Saruman in Lord of the Rings. Nothing likable there, though Saruman's voice was intriguing, the ability to latch onto weaknesses.

But a villain that I enjoy watching at work is Ben from Lost. He is fascinating and the most unpredictable villain I've ever seen.

A villain that I'd aid in whatever way he asked: Shep (aka Zirub) from The Hoax by Adrienne Jones. Some villains gain our sympathy (a bit like Satan in Paradise Lost).

Edited at 2010-02-01 05:39 pm (UTC)
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
I always felt a little sorry for Sauron. I mean, there he is, doing what comes naturally to him, but just because society says you're not supposed to take over Middle Earth and crush all that's good and decent and kind beneath your heel, he gets labelled as a bad guy.

It just doesn't seem fair.
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bogwitch64
Feb. 1st, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Favorite villain? Gads! How to choose? (Total agreement on the Dursley's btw--movies missed the boat on that one. They are so intrinsic to the plot, and yet...gah! Don't start me on that one!)

Ok, villains--I'll give you three:
1. Littlefinger from George Martin's Song of Fire and Ice.
2. King Argotron (Ken Jeong) in Role Models
3. Coach Sue Sylvester from Glee

Hmmm...two of my three listed here are comedic villains...what does that say about me?
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
That you like to laugh when you're killing? ;)
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jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Hehehehehehehe :)
mary_j_59
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Um-Jon? Snape's not a villain. He's a hero, and a very great one. Whether he likes Harry or not (I'd say he doesn't ) is beside the point. He does the right thing, even if it goes against his inclinations. Even if it costs him his life. If he's not a hero, there are no heroes in these books.

And I'm afraid the Dursleys just bore me.

Rowling did, however, manage to write one truly scary and believable villain. Dolores Umbridge. I would also nominate Dr. Melanie Powers, from the "Green Knowe" books as both malevolent and believable. And Saruman, of course! Also Fagin and Bill Sykes, among others, and possibly Madame DeFarge. Steerforth . Wackford Squeers - gosh, Dickens has a lot of over-the-top types! So does Muriel Spark. And you're right about Dr. Smith; he's great fun.
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
When I'm trying to decide whether or not Snape's a villain, I end up sounding like Topol in Fiddler on the Roof 'On the one hand... On the other hand' etc.

I currently come down on the side of evil villain (he did kill old Dumbly-dore, after all), but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise :)
(no subject) - mary_j_59 - Feb. 1st, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - snapes_angel - Feb. 2nd, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
clarionj
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, definitely Spike! How did I forget too?
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Best bad guy turned good guy ever :)
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Feb. 2nd, 2010 10:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - out_totheblack - Feb. 1st, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
mongrelheart
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, what a fun question! How to choose? OK, some of my faves in no particular order:

- Khan from Star Trek 2
- and the Klingons too of course
- Hannibal Lecter
- I can't remember the character's name, but the bad guy played by Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element
- Scorpius from Farscape
- Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes
- the Terminator
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Lol, if you have Khan, then we should also add Will Wheaton - after his appearance on The Big Bang Theory ;)

I liked Scorpius (good name too). I'd love to buy Farscape on DVD, but they seem way over-priced to me (much like the Doctor Who and Star Trek DVDs).

That Gary Oldman character, was it Zorg, or Zorth or something like that?
(no subject) - mongrelheart - Feb. 1st, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
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j_cheney
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
Bane

From the Kencyr novels by P.C.Hodgell.

So right now (between books 4 and 5), he's mostly dead....but I want him back!

::crowd cheering:: Bring back Bane!
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Well, if he's only 'mostly dead' there's a chance that Miracle Max might save him.

Otherwise there's nothing left to do but go through his pockets and look for loose change ;)
(no subject) - j_cheney - Feb. 1st, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
out_totheblack
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
Wow, good questions. I always liked villains. I think Mordred, from King Arthur, was my very first love. He will always have a soft spot in my heart. And yes, Dr. Smith, I think was the second.

In fantasy books, I have to say it is Gerald Tarrant from the Coldfire Trilogy by CS Friedman. She ruined it for me in the third book, though, by redeeming him. I hate it when the villains get redeemed. Change his villainy if you must, but leave his essential being alone. They keep making good guys out of bad guys on t.v. That really irks me.
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
Seeing your icon reminded me that Firefly's Niska was a pretty good villain :)
(no subject) - out_totheblack - Feb. 1st, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Feb. 1st, 2010 04:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
ex_naomi_ja
Feb. 1st, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Where to start? Cobra Commander from GI Joe (cartoon not film) has to be top of the list. But Star Scream from Transformers is up there too.
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
Star Scream. Which one was he, or should I say 'it'? ;)
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